The New Orleans Saints continue to play a game of one step forward, two steps backward in 2022 following Monday night's 27-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Despite another prime-time struggle for quarterback Andy Dalton, coach Dennis Allen insisted he never considered making a QB change.
"No, I didn't," Allen said via the team's official transcript. "There's a lot that wasn't good offensively tonight. There was a lot more to it than (the quarterback)."
That's a fair sentiment. The Saints were a rough watch overall just a week after shutting out the Las Vegas Raiders in a 24-0 win.
Monday night, the offensive line couldn't block, and Dalton didn't have the escape ability or pocket feel to avoid four sacks. Alvin Kamara had few holes, generating just 30 yards on nine carries.
The issues weren't all on Dalton, but the QB doesn't do enough to lift those around him. He missed a wide-open Marquez Callaway in the end zone near the end of the first half and had several balls batted at the line, including one intercepted by Justin Houston to seal the Saints' fate. Dalton is, as he's always been, a quarterback who is only as good as the playmakers and line surrounding him. And right now, that isn't good enough for New Orleans.
Still, Allen must believe that even the limited ability Dalton brings to the table is better than the volatility of Jameis Winston.
"I think over the last five weeks, (he) has been pretty good in moving the football effectively," Allen said of Dalton. "This wasn't a good game tonight. So, we'll evaluate as we move forward, but I'm looking at this as a bad day at the office offensively. We've got to improve from it."
The Saints are 2-4 with Dalton under center this season, and the QB has just one game with more than 240 yards passing and has thrown 10 touchdowns to five interceptions. In three starts to open the season before going down due to injury, Winston went 1-2, surpassed the 240-yard mark twice and threw four TDs to five INTs.
With Winston healthy, Allen insists he'll stick with Dalton, as the Saints remain one game out of first place in an awful NFC South.
New Orleans has lost three of its last four games and is 0-3 following a win in 2022. Frankly, the time would be coming soon for most clubs to test drive a young option under center to see what they might have for the future. But the Saints spent the offseason acting like Super Bowl contenders, so there is no developmental option on the roster.
It'll be Dalton or Winston from here on out. For now, Allen is sticking with Dalton.